November 12, 2019
The FBI is investigating the manner and circumstances under which the Pennsylvania governor’s office issued permits for Energy Transfer LP‘s Mariner East Pipelines, according to the Associated Press, which cites unnamed sources.
Governor Tom Wolf‘s office is said to be cooperating with the corruption investigation, which so far includes FBI interrogation of several current and former state employees in recent weeks.
The AP reported on Tuesday that the focus of the investigation is on whether Wolf and his administration “forced environmental protection staff” to approve construction permits in exchange for anything.
The nearly $3 billion pipeline is one of the largest in Pennsylvania’s history but was plagued by “temporary shutdown orders, lawsuits, protests and investigations,” and when construction permits were issued in 2017, some environmental groups accused the governor’s administration of pushing through incomplete permits that violated the law.
An Energy Transfer spokeswoman told the AP the company has not been contacted by the FBI about the probe.
Energy Transfer has had several run-ins with the Pennsylvania governor’s office, which the Wolf administration accused of violating state law.
In the past, Governor Wolf has denied pressuring state officials to push through the Mariner East permits.